Friday, May 14, 2010

It's Impossible, I Tell You

There a literally SCADS of movies in the world. How do you decided what to watch?

If you're going to the movie theatre, you've got to plunk down cold, hard cash. And time. Both are finite resources. Therefore, the movie needs to be worth the investment.

If you're watching at home, perhaps via Netflix, the money would be invested (regardless); however, the time is still a factor. Sure, you're more likely to stop a bad movie on DVD than you would be to walk out of a theatre... but there are more time issues at stake. Like that next movie in the queue means that the one after it won't be there for (at a minimum) three days.

You're delaying another movie for the potential of this movie.

It's all very philosophical, you see.

So thus my conundrum when I'm trying to decide about the value of moving Remember Me up in my Netflix queue. I read many of the member reviews and, although they say the writing is a tad heavy-handed and the ending is a "twist", they pretty much all say the acting is worth it. Hmm, sounds good, right?

But then I read the critics' reviews and they're, how should I say this?, NOT good. For example, Manohla Dargis of the NY Times writes, "In 'Remember Me,' love means never having to say you're sorry, particularly to the audience." Ouch. (Read the full review here. It's kind of funny.)

But then I think: Paid critics are, well, paid to watch movies [or read books, or listen to music, or... you get the point] and, while we all think we'd like to have that gig for a while, I don't think the feeling would last. Imagine the scenario that, as part of your job, you have to watch the new Karate Kid movie. And try and come up with some semi-intelligent thoughts on it. I couldn't do it. So, I'm not entirely sure that professional critics are watching a movie the same way I would.

Further compounding my confusion: the review from Robert Ebert, writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, "The fact is, 'Remember Me' is a well-made movie. I cared about the characters. I felt for them."

I also read this post from a book publishing insider (former editorial intern, turned published author) that talks about how paid reviews shouldn't necessarily be trusted because there were mitigating factors in the review. Like, oh, I don't know, COMPENSATION and/or FREE GIFTS.

So, all that to say, how do you decide which movies are worth your precious time and money?

[Image Source; Important Note: Those are not my movies.]


K and/or K said...

I saw Remember Me in a theater full of teens who I think were surprised how heavy it was. I thought the acting was good, and the twist was a shocker/downer. You have to be in a serious mood, let's just say that.
As far as choosing movies, I generally am drawn to see what is showing at 2 particular theaters in town show movies that are not as popular when first released. Mostly independent films. It's all a crapshoot I try to stick with actors and directors I love.

Sabrina said...

MAY 14!!! Someone fell off the blog bandwagon. How goes it? :)